Election Cycle 2016 – West Tyrone

At the start of April 2016 the President of Cycling UK (and Channel 4 News presenter) Jon Snow contacted all Northern Ireland Assembly Election candidates to ask for their support in three simple policy asks around cycling investment, building a greenway network and delivering an Active Travel Act.

Election_Cycle_2016

The responses received from candidates standing in West Tyrone will be listed below. You can also click on each name to contact your local candidates through Twitter or Facebook to ask them to respond if they haven’t already. (Social media contact details are not available for some candidates.)

Name Party Investment Greenways Legislation
Michaela Boyle Sinn Féin YES YES YES
Comments: “I wish your campaign well. I am happy to support and to answer yes to all three of your questions.

“It is of vital importance for the health and well-being for the future of our children that we have robust legislstion in place to allow all citizens  the opportunity to have the best greenways and cycle routes in there area.”

Allan Bresland DUP ? ? ?
Comments:
Barry Brown CISTA YES YES YES
Comments: “Cista have 4 candidates standing and we all say yes.”
Thomas Buchanan DUP ? ? ?
Comments:
Josephine Deehan Independent ? ? ?
Comments:
Stephen Donnelly Alliance YES YES YES
Comments: “The Alliance Party is fully committed to the delivery of first class integrated, sustainable and active travel for the people of Northern Ireland and recognises the multiple health, environmental, social and economic benefits of cycling in particular.

“My colleague Chris Lyttle was privileged to establish and Chair the All Party Assembly Group on Cycling and to work with organisations like Sustrans NI and NI Greenways to mobilise MLAs in support of cycling.

“The APG on Cycling hosted a number of important stakeholder events to facilitate supportive input from MLA and NGOs into the Assembly Regional Development Committee Cycling Inquiry and the Department for Regional Development Cycling Strategy.

“The APG on Cycling also hosted and participated in events to promote Bike Week and the Sustrans/DRD Cycling Unit Belfast Bike Life Report which has established public support for increased investment in cycling provision.

“As an MLA, my colleague submitted multiple cycling related questions to Regional Development Ministers to support enhanced cycle provision and to raise awareness of underinvestment in comparison with other regions, which DRD has estimated will decrease from £4.17 per head of population in 2014/15 to only £1.30 per head of population for 2015/16.

“Alliance Party MLAs will therefore fully support a wide range of enhanced cycling provision in Northern Ireland, including:

  1. Increased investment in cycling of at least £10 per head of population.
  2. The development and realisation of the health, rural regeneration and tourism potential of Greenways across the region and where possibly with connectivity to the rest of the island.
  3. An Active Travel Act to incorporate cycling and walking provision into land-use planning and new development.

“We will work with everyone to make this the best cycling region in these islands.”

Corey French Independent YES YES YES
Comments: “Yes, I will support cycling as an MLA and as a cyclist myself.”
Ross Hussey UUP YES YES YES
Comments: “I sat on the DRD committee at Stormont and visited various Greenways in Ireland North and South.  My party colleague Danny Kennedy when DRD Minister certainly ‘championed’ this cause and we as individuals and as a party would endorse Mr Kennedy’s support.”
Patsy Kelly Independent ? ? ?
Comments:
Roger Lomas Conservatives ? ? ?
Comments:
Declan McAleer Sinn Fein YES YES YES
Comments: “I’ve been working with Andrew Grieve, the head of the Department for Regional Development Cycling Unit, trying to advance this. I’ve been pushing for a Great Northern Greenway like the Great Western Greenway in Mayo – me and the family go there every August. I’ve also worked with the Omagh Cycling Initiative to get a greenway and address missing links.”
Laura McAnea Animal Welfare YES YES YES
Comments: “The Animal Welfare Party fully supports the three positions detailed.

“Additionally, as per our manifesto, the Animal Welfare Party firmly encourage much more cycle use with a massive increase in the availability, suitability and safety of cycle lanes.

“We believe promoting sports and physical activity is hugely important to improving human health and as such if elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly we would increase sports facilities and sports education including access for all schools, and encourage participation in sports and other physical activities in the community.”

Sorcha McAnespy Independent YES YES YES
Comments: “Yes, I will support all initiatives that promote health and well-being and take traffic off the road.”
Ciaran McClean Greens YES YES YES
Comments: “The issues are core Green policy issues.

  1. Yes, safe cycling is hugely important and should therefore be funded.
  2. Yes I support the development of traffic-free greenways across the country to boost rural regeneration and tourism, again it ties in very well with Green Party policy.
  3. Yes, support the introduction of an Active Travel Act to incorporate cycling and walking provision into land-use planning and new developments as such an Act would favour the ‘Common Good’.
Daniel McCrossan SDLP YES YES YES
Comments: “Its a Yes, Yes, Yes to all three!”
Sinn Féin YES YES YES
Comments: “Yes, yes and yes again!

  1. Investment: Absolutely, as we face a public health crisis & increasing traffic congestion on our roads it’s time we were creative & innovative with our resources. I would love to see some ideas in future.
  2. Greenways: Yes. I would love to see this type of infrastructure everywhere possible. This is something we are currently having discussions with our local council team about. Greenways have the potential to boost and strengthen tourist activity across West Tyrone.
  3. Legislation: Yes, whilst I haven’t seen the finer details of any proposed legislation I would agree with the wider principles outlined and would be a keen advocate of the need to seriously explore ways in which community planning can actively assist the development of greenway provision.”
Barry McElduff Sinn Féin YES YES YES
Comments: “Cycling is worthy of meaningful investment as outcomes all round are positive. I particularly commend my colleague, Declan McAleer for his work in this area to date.”
Susan-Anne White Independent NO NO NO
Comments: “I do not cycle myself but I am sure it is an enjoyable pastime and/or form of exercise for many. However I do not believe that cycling and matters pertaining to it is important enough for me to mention in my manifesto. It appears that this cycling strategy that you speak of is part of the “green” agenda which makes an idol of planet earth and blames man for scientifically unproven global warming.

“Car drivers are made to feel guilty and made to feel that they should embrace cycling as if it were a panacea for the world’s ills. As a car driver I have personally witnessed selfish, rude behaviour on the part of cyclists on the road. There has to be give and take on the roads and civility. Cyclists need to feel safe on the road, as do car drivers.

“I hope I have clearly stated my position and that you know that I do not see the need for a Bicycle Strategy for Northern Ireland nor will I advocate a cycling strategy for Northern Ireland.”

CISTA – Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol
DUP – Democratic Unionist Party
SDLP – Social Democratic and Labour Party
UUP – Ulster Unionist Party

If you’re a candidate and would like to share your views on our questions to make Northern Ireland a better place for cycling, then we want to hear from you. Please email us at nigreenways@gmail.com and we’ll update this page as soon as possible.

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Election Cycle 2016 is a joint effort by the good people at:

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